January 6

GOP lawmaker’s betrayal of Trump is an ‘unexpected gift’ for Jan 6 committee’s investigation

Writing in The Hill this Sunday, legal affairs reporter Harper Neidig contends that GOP Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks‘ “sudden turn” against former President Donald Trump is an “unexpected gift” for the House committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump rescinded his endorsement of Brooks after he started to falter in the polls regarding the Alabama Republican Senate primary. Brooks fired back by admitting that Trump asked him to “rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency.”

“As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period,” Brook said. “I’ve told President Trump the truth knowing full well that it might cause President Trump to rescind his endorsement. But I took a sworn oath to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution. I honor my oath. That is the way I am. I break my sworn oath for no man.”

As Neidig points out, Brooks’ comments mark the first time one of Trump’s allies accused him of illegally pushing to discredit the results of a U.S. general election, adding a “new dimension to the fallout from the Capitol riot, that Trump continued his efforts to overturn the election long after he had left office.” 

Brooks was a supporter of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and tried to raise objections to derail the process as Congress was certifying the election results in the wake of the Capitol riot. He even spoke to Trump supporters at the “Stop the Steal” rally, wearing body armor and urging the crowd to “fight to undermine efforts to certify Biden’s win,” Neidig writes. 

While it’s unclear how the Jan. 6 committee will move forward with the new information, it clearly adds “new momentum” to the probe. “If Trump is ever forced to mount a legal defense in either a civil or criminal case, he is likely to make similar claims: that his efforts to overturn the election were supported by advice he had received that such actions were lawful,” writes Neidig. “But Brooks’s claim could undermine that, because it shows that Trump had continued his campaign after leaving office and long after he could lay any claim to holding on to the White House.”

Read the full op-ed over at The Hill

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